Economy

Ghana Institution of Engineering president outlines sustainable housing technologies  

SourceJoy Business

The President of the Ghana Institution of Engineering (GhIE), Ing. Kwabena Bempong has outlined alternative sustainable housing building technologies that is cost effective and give true meaning to affordable housing in Ghana.

According to him, as construction costs rise and urbanization accelerates, the housing market tends to cater primarily to the affluent, excluding individuals in the low to medium-income category from accessing suitable housing.

He added that “Housing is defined as unaffordable if more than 30% of the monthly or annual income of a household is spent on housing”.

The GhIE President said it is estimated that about 80% of Ghana’s building materials are imported, which are subject to global economic trends such as commodity pricing, high labour costs, geopolitical wars and others.

He recommended the use of affordable building materials such as the use of bio-based materials like timber, bamboo and improvement on non-renewable building materials such as Green cement, Pulverized Fly Ash, Blast Furnace Slag, Calcined Clay, Burnt Rice Husk and Natural Pozzolans for the building of houses in Ghana.

He also recommended alternative building technologies such as Rammed Earth Building, Interlocking Bricks Construction, Reinforced Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) Foam Building System as well as Glass Fibre Reinforced Gypsum and Light Gauge Steel Framed Structures (LGFS).

Ing. Kwabena Bempong made these statements when he delivered his 52nd Presidential Address to Engineers of the Ghana Institution of Engineering on Tuesday, January 30, 2024, at the Ghana Shippers Authority, Shippers House, North Ridge, Accra.

Speaking on the theme: “Sustainable Housing Supply with Alternative Building Technologies”, the President of GhIE said, government has no business building houses. Instead, government’s role is to provide the necessary policy and right institutional framework, provide easy access to affordable lands, financing, building materials and basic infrastructure.

He added that governments should ensure that social housing is pursued to ensure affordability for low-income workers.

The Chairman of the ceremony, Emmanuel Botchwey, Executive Chairman of Regimanuel Group said, Ing. Bempong’s presentation has underscored the transformative power of embracing sustainable practices.

“The incorporation of alternative building technologies not only promises to mitigate environmental impact but also offers a pathway to more resilient, affordable and inclusive housing options. The insights presented on alternative sustainable building technologies and the urgency of addressing the housing deficit underscore the need for collaborative efforts from all sectors”, Mr. Emmanuel Botchwey added.

In his welcome address, the Executive Director of the GhIE, Ing. David Kwatia Nyante explained that the GhIE’s Presidential Address is arguably the most significant event that transpires during the term of the President of the Institution. Each President of the Institution is required to deliver an address concerning a subject within which is or she is an authority.

The preceding event for this year’s Presidential Address, which centres around “Sustainable Housing Supply with Alternative Building Technologies”, was a two-day exhibition of the said technologies that took place at the forecourts of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) from January 27 to January 28, 2024.

Present at the ceremony included the wife of the President of GhIE, ACP Priscilla Bempong; the Vice-President of GhIE, Ing. Sophia Abena Tijani; President-Elect of GhIE, Ing. Ludwig Hesse; Immediate Past President of GhIE, Ing. Rev. Prof. Charles Anum Adams, who joined the programme online; Ing (Mrs. Carlien Bou-Chedid, Immediate Past President of Federation of African Engineering Organization (FAEO), Ing. Leslie Alex Ayeh, Immediate Past President of West African Federation of Engineering Organization (WAFEO); Council members of GhIE, Past Presidents of GhIE, Women in Engineering (WINE) and representatives of other Professional Bodies.

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